Archive - July 2019

1
Senator Wants Peace Corps Out of China & Other ‘Hostile’ Nations
2
A Writer Writes — “Strange” by Bonnie Lee Black (Gabon)
3
Neil Armstrong’s Peace Corps Connection (Moon Landing)
4
New role at Harvard for former Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan
5
Murder by States in the New York Times Book Review Section
6
Jack Hogan (Venezuela and staff) dies
7
Review — THE BURIED by Peter Hessler (China)
8
A Writer Writes — Roland Merullo (Micronesia) walks the Camino de Santiago
9
Ethiopian RPCV Donovan Gregg Killed in Rwanda
10
One Writer’s Guide to Writing–Jon Kohl (Costa Rica)

Senator Wants Peace Corps Out of China & Other ‘Hostile’ Nations

Senator Wants Peace Corps Out of China & Other ‘Hostile’ Nations July 31, 2019ALEX PICKETT TAMPA, Fla. (CN) — Senator Rick Scott wants to withdraw the Peace Corps from “hostile” countries such as China, the Florida Republican said Tuesday, in introducing legislation that would strip the program of its relative autonomy and put it under the State Department. Scott’s “Peace Corps Mission Accountability Act” would put the Peace Corps under the umbrella of the State Department instead of its current position as an independent agency under the executive branch. Containers are piled high at a port in Qingdao in easterna China’s Shandong province Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Growth in Chinese exports to the United States ticked up in October as traders rushed to beat another round of tariff hikes. (Chinatopix via AP) The bill would give the secretary of state authority over the director of the Peace Corps and “ensure . . .

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A Writer Writes — “Strange” by Bonnie Lee Black (Gabon)

A Writer Writes     Strange by Bonnie Lee Black (Gabon 1996-98) For my Spanish homework this week my maestra, Edith, asked that I write a true story — in Spanish, of course — about a strange (extraño) incident I’d experienced. Piece of cake, I thought. In a life that has spanned seventy-four years and countless miles so far, I felt I have a lot of material to draw from. But the strangest stories of all for me have come from my eight-or-so years lived on the ground in Africa. One incident in particular stands out. I gave it only two paragraphs in my Peace Corps memoir, How to Cook a Crocodile, but in my memory it’s as vivid as a full-length feature film.   I was taking the ten-hour train ride — on the country’s one and only train — from Lastoursville, my Peace Corps post in the thickly-rainforested interior of Gabon, to the . . .

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Neil Armstrong’s Peace Corps Connection (Moon Landing)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Dale Gilles (Liberia 1964-67), (PC/W 1968-73), (Liberia APCD 1973-75), (PC/W 1991-93) We have all heard about the two sons of Neil Armstrong who are staging a series of auctions of about 3,000 mementos from their father’s moon mission, NASA career, as well as his life before and after the Moon Landing. They are selling everything from an American flag that had flown to the moon on Apollo 11; a flight suit their father had worn earlier in his career; and many possessions that had nothing to do with space, including Armstrong’s childhood teddy bear, a preschool report card he signed, and a silver medal commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Peace Corps in 1971. What you might not know is that Neil Armstrong was chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Peace Corps from 1971 to 1973. Nixon was president during those years and . . .

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New role at Harvard for former Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan

From The Harvard Gazette   Mark Gearan and Mary Herlihy-Gearan take over Winthrop House Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana announced Friday the appointment of Mark Gearan ’78, director of the Institute of Politics (IOP) at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Mary Herlihy-Gearan as interim faculty deans of Winthrop House. “Mark and Mary are devoted Harvard community members,” Khurana said. “They are well prepared to ensure that Winthrop feels like a home where students can bring together their academic, social, and personal passions and pursuits. I am delighted that they have agreed to serve on an interim basis.” Gearan has served as director of the IOP since March of 2018. Prior to assuming that post, he was president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., from 1999 to 2017. Gearan was also director of the Peace Corps from 1995 to 1999, a job he took after serving as . . .

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Murder by States in the New York Times Book Review Section

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Dale Gilles (Liberia 1964-67), (PC/W 1968-73), (Liberia APCD 1973-75), (PC/W 1991-93) The centerfold of this Sunday’s Book Review in The New York Times has a double page spread of the United States with the headline Murder Map/50 Bodies Minimum by Ross MacDonald and Tina Jordan. The subheadline is: “Every state has its murder–and its true-crime book.” Of course an RPCV writer has to get in that list, and we have Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) claiming Florida and her true crime story Vulgar Favors. Maureen, winner of a the Peace Corps Writers Paul Cowan non-fiction award, was one of the first women writers at Newsweek. Currently she is a special correspondent for Vanity Fair, and has profiled everyone from Vladimir Putin to Angela Merkel and has also written a bestselling cover story for National Geographic on the Virgin Mary. Maureen has not forgotten her host country and . . .

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Jack Hogan (Venezuela and staff) dies

  John Hogan     Published in The Washington Post on July 26, 2019   On July 22, 2019 John P. Hogan (age 81) passed away peacefully. Proud of his Irish Brooklyn, NY upbringing, Jack was a citizen of the world. Working overseas in many different countries, he was always happy to return to his Brookland home in Washington, DC. Jack had a passion for social justice and service, striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Mary Jo, and daughters, Pilar Closkey (Sean), Maura Donohue (Brendan), and Clare Reidy (Patrick) and nine grandchildren who will miss him dearly. A funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, August 6 at 10 a.m. at the Franciscan Monastery at 1400 Quincy St NE. Family will receive friends before mass at 9 a.m. at the church. In lieu of . . .

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Review — THE BURIED by Peter Hessler (China)

    The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution By Peter Hessler (China 1996–98) Penguin Press 480 pages May 2019 $28,00 (hardback); $14.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Andy Martin (Ethiopia 1965–68) • I’ve been racking my brain as to how to best review this wonderful book. Perhaps I just did by calling it wonderful. Peter Hessler is a well-established writer and has had a number of fascinating and important books and articles published. He was also a staff writer for The New Yorker. In fact, The Buried, grew out of an assignment he had, to cover the Egyptian Revolution during the “Arab Spring” in the early 2010’s. The Buried was published in May of 2019. I’m writing thus review in late July 2019, only a few months later. However, the book has already had a number of major reviews, including one on this Peace Corps writer’s website. It was also . . .

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A Writer Writes — Roland Merullo (Micronesia) walks the Camino de Santiago

    July 2019 A note from Roland Merullo (Micronesia 1979-80) Dear Friends and Readers, Every year, hundreds of thousands of people walk the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route that stretches from the Pyrenees to northwest Spain. Some make the 500-mile walk for religious reasons (the body of St. James is said to have been buried in Santiago, at the end of the route); others for exercise; still others simply to have a break from the rush and mental clutter of modern life. Our daughter, Alexandra, walked the Camino two years ago, and our other daughter, Juliana, plans to walk it next spring, at the end of her gap year and before heading off to college. Amanda and I decided to walk the first 100 miles this summer. I should point out that Alexandra carried a backpack the whole way and slept in hostels, while Amanda and I, . . .

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Ethiopian RPCV Donovan Gregg Killed in Rwanda

WASHINGTON – Peace Corps Response Volunteer Donovan Gregg, 31, of Beaverton, Oregon, died following a car accident July 23 in Rwanda. Donovan, who trained English teachers at a university in Kigali, served in Peace Corps Response with his wife of eight years Jessica Gregg. The Greggs were also Peace Corps Volunteers together in Ethiopia from 2014 to 2016. The couple began work in Rwanda in January 2019. Donovan, a TEFL-certified English teacher, graduated from Western Oregon University in Monmouth and earned a master’s degree from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy in Erfurt, Germany. He also completed an internship with the Department of Commerce at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin. During his time in Ethiopia, Donovan provided classroom instruction for five public school English classes, led training sessions for Peace Corps trainees and managed budgeting and logistics for youth summer camps, among other projects. Earlier in his career, Donovan . . .

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One Writer’s Guide to Writing–Jon Kohl (Costa Rica)

Interpretive Theme Writer’s Field Guide How to Write a Strong Theme from Big Idea to Presentation By Jon Kohl (Costa Rica 1993-95) InterpPress Publisher 164 pages $25.00 (paperback) November 2018   The interpretive theme is the most important sentence an interpreter inks on paper. Despite its centrality to thematic interpretation, no single work has dedicated itself entirely to the art and craft of strong theme writing until now. The Interpretive Theme Writer’s Field Guide builds on Sam Ham’s 30-year thematic interpretation research legacy. While leaving theory to his books, this pocket companion offers writers strong theme examples, worksheets, exercises, inspirational quotes, and technique highlights. Where Does This Field Guide Come From?  Jon Kohl (Costa Rica 1993-95) tells us: When the US Peace Corps assigned me in 1993 to my new Costa Rican office at the aging Simon Bolivar National Zoo and Botanical Garden in order to co-build its education department, my new . . .

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